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Quarterly Construction Value Per Capita


The Urban Taskforce receives continual updates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on building approvals, building starts and quarterly building construction. We have converted the quarterly building construction data into a per capita graph by dividing the dollars spent by the state population. When we compare the seasonally adjusted building construction by quarter per capita between Victoria, NSW and Queensland over the previous 10 years some interesting trends emerge. Up to 2003 the three states were each spending around $800 per capita on building construction but from this date onwards NSW has gone downward while Queensland and Victoria have moved upwards.


In 2008 just before the GFC, Queensland reached $1,100 with Victoria on $900 and NSW dropping to just over $600.  The situation now is that Victoria is spending around $1,000 while Queensland has dropped to around $800 and NSW is still down at $600 although this is a move up from a figure of $500 over recent quarters.


What this graph demonstrates is NSWs poor performance compared to Victoria and Queensland over the past decade. There are a variety of reasons for this but one often mentioned is the overly complex planning system in NSW and the micro control that comes from local councils with detailed Development Control Plans. The NSW government is moving to improve the planning system through its Green Paper and has recently moved to reduce the status of DCPs. The governments financial encouragement at the time of the last budget for the housing industry seems to be having an impact as the blue line on NSW begins moving upwards. Other graphs measure housing approvals and starts which give early information of trends but it is actual construction that most helps the industry and the community.


Download Graph HERE